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Coalition condemns campaign to bar Chelsea Manning

Free Speech Coalition condemns National Party’s campaign to bar Chelsea Manning


28 AUGUST 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The political whims of the National Party must not curtail our right to engage in the most relevant topics of our age, says the Free Speech Coalition, which is calling on National MP Michael Woodhouse to reconsider his comments to the media earlier today.

“The subject of our allies' wartime conduct is a matter of great public importance,” says Chris Trotter, a spokesperson for the Free Speech Coalition.

“As a democracy, we have a right to be informed on the activities of our friends on the international stage. New Zealanders deserve a chance to hear her speak.”

“There are other examples of previously convicted criminals that have been allowed entry into New Zealand. Nelson Mandela was allowed entrance in 1995. And Jordan Belfort, also known as the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, was allowed to give a series of motivational speeches in 2014. If these convicted criminals were able to speak in New Zealand, why is Manning any different?”

“We agree with the reported comments Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman that Mr Woodhouse’s campaign for censorship is offensive. New Zealanders should not be denied an opportunity to hear a personal account of military use of power, even by an ally. The Free Speech Coalition hopes Ms Ghahraman continues to support the principle of free speech, no matter the politics of the individual speakers.”

“This isn’t an issue of defending breach of confidence or leaking military secrets. Rather, it is the right of New Zealanders to hear from someone who is noteworthy albeit controversial.”

ENDS

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